Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blue Man Group, PlayhouseSquare

 Deadpan. They stare at you, expressionless, like three cats contemplating a lint ball, and you stare back. While laughing.

Dead silent. They never speak a word.

But there are words. Some, written on three huge tablets, encourage you to multi-task and read all at once. Such as a “Twit That Lit!” app that condenses major works (War and Peace is shrunken to “War, war, war, war, snow, war war…”).

And there is noise, Hoo, boy, is there noise. Pounding from the frequent hyper-amplified drumming of the trio of Blue Men plus their back-up musicians.

Yes, it’s the performance art guys, the anonymous Blue Man Group, now at PlayhouseSquare. Fun for all ages, and that’s no joke. Created written and directed by Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink, it’s a wacked out party wrapped in a rock concert and studded occasionally with oozing, streaming, splattering stuff (the first three rows are given plastic ponchos to wear).

The favorite schticks are there: One Man throwing paintballs and clay balls into the other Men’s mouths, which result in two fairly instant “works of art.” Crawling through the audience to find participants to assist in their mute journey of exploration.

Do they get close to the audience? Well, they go all the way down one fellow’s esophagus…is that far enough for you?

And there are lights. Dazzling digital light shows, rock-show swiveling spots, and glows emanating from large inflated globes that bounce all over the audience in a shower of streamers and confetti.

It’s witty, it’s unpredictable (especially if you haven’t seen it). And if you have seen it, that’s exactly why you want to see it again.

You want to see it for the 2D/3D dance. For the unending list of synonyms for the human butt (air balloons, wiggle clowns, Ali vs. Frazier… For the Twinkie banquet.

And yes, they’re still staring at you. And you’re still laughing. Plus, you know, cheering.

Blue Man Group
Through February 17 at PlayhouseSquare, Palace Theatre, 1615 Euclid Avenue, 216-241-6000

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